By Jack Engelhard
Who knew it would come to this? The psalmist knew.
Psalm 146 says this: “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.”
Princes, then as now, are people who run our lives, like politicians and titans of commerce – most of whom we trusted until some weeks ago.
Today we know that many of these men are beyond greed but deep into incompetence and crookedness. They’ve taken our money and run off. One crowd at one of those firms that got bailed out with our billions, well, as you know, they made themselves a party at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars. Whoopee!
So many of these investment banks that have failed – failed only for you and for me. The men, and a few women, at the top walked off with hundreds of millions.
I watched one of these hearings where a man testified that the millions he took home, no sir, that money wasn’t a bonus, it was – oh, I forget the word he used. But it wasn’t a bonus and it wasn’t a golden parachute. Meanwhile, we’re broke; he isn’t. No, he’s rich. Even some members of Congress bought this trickery of words.
In a recent column (you can look it up here and at my website www.jackengelhard.com) I wrote that “your money is safer at the racetrack.” I wasn’t kidding.
Whom to blame for this chaos? How about everybody? I’m talking about the investment bankers, the brokers, the lenders, the traders and of course the politicians. Diogenes kept searching but couldn’t find a single human being (or “honest man”) and I guess that’s the fix we’re in this minute.
I’m beginning to understand Erasmus who made the case that foolishness (even in our leaders) is preferable to wisdom. “Fools have another not insignificant virtue: they alone are candid and truthful.” Also, (he continues in “The Praise of Folly,” his masterpiece) “Human affairs are so obscure and various that nothing can be clearly known.” (Ain’t that the truth.)
Was everybody in on this, behind our backs? Were they all on the take? These aren’t uneducated men who run our Congress and our investment firms. How many Harvard graduates (“the best and the brightest’) did it take to plunge us into ruin? By the time you read this everything may be up again. As of this writing, it’s down, way down, and I think I know why – these crooks don’t trust those crooks.
They all know how the system can be manipulated – they did it after all – and this, ladies and gentlemen, is how it feels to get mugged for TWO TRILLION DOLLARS.
In 1956, President Eisenhower took the cue from Congress and signed the paper which made the following the official motto of the United States of America:
IN GOD WE TRUST.
That motto first appeared on a United States coin in 1864, Check your money (quick, while you still have it) and it’s still there; IN GOD WE TRUST.
That about sums it up for me, as a message of comfort.
You don’t have to be religious, you can even be an atheist, but you must agree that nothing else makes any sense. Princes sure make no sense.
Yes, keep God. Fire everybody else.
Jack Engelhard’s latest novel, THE BATHSHEBA DEADLINE, now in paperback, places journalism at the center of our war on terror. Engelhard wrote the international bestselling novel INDECENT PROPOSAL that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. He can be reached, and his Works can be found, at his website, www.jackengelhard.com.